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Environment

Testing reveals more contaminated wells near SLO Airport

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A Southern California law firm is continuing to investigate the source and scope of a cluster of contaminated residential drinking wells in San Luis Obispo County.  

Nearly a month ago, Trichloroethylene (TCE) was detected in several residential wells south of the County Airport. As a result of the firm's testing, a total of 14 wells in the rural area have been found with high levels of TCE and some other chemicals.

The County is also testing wells and assisting the Regional Water Quality Control Board in its investigation of the source of the contaminants.

TCE is toxic to humans and animals, and is commonly used in the airline industry to clean airplanes.

John Fiske is an environmental attorney representing families whose drinking water has been contaminated and said they're testing more wells to figure out the scope of the toxins.

"The most information that we have...available to us, points to the San Luis Obispo County Airport. However, we still have quite a bit of investigation before we make that final determination," said Fiske. 

He said if by April they still believe this is the source, they will file claims with the County.

Airport spokesman Kevin Bumen told KCBX in an email staff will respond to the Water Board's investigation in a "timely manner."

The County said the high concentration of TCE may represent a larger portion of the water content than usual as groundwater levels are extremely low.

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